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Big Ten Legends Division: Michigan & The MSU Game Plan

October 10, 2012

College Football, Features

 

Michigan has started off 1-0 in the Big Ten conference having taken down Purdue last week and has their sights set on taking out Illinois at home this coming weekend. With the good possibility that the Wolverines will be 2-0 in the Big Ten they will need to form a game plan for their show down with the Spartans the week after.

Four years in a row Michigan State has taken down Michigan in the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. This year appears to be the best chance that Michigan has to end their losing streak. Michigan State has not been stable this season and the Michigan defense is steadily getting better. However the biggest question lies on the offensive side of the ball. Will Robinson be productive enough and protected well enough for the Wolverines to mount a strong offensive attack?

The way that Michigan has been successful this season is with their running game, but it has mostly rested on Robinson’s shoulders. Toussaint has not been as productive as he was last season while Rawls has been making progress. In the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry games of the past years Robinson has been beaten down by the Michigan State defense, sack after sack along with all the tough tackles during his running plays. Michigan will need a specific game plan as they prepare for the Spartans next week.

In the 2011 season Michigan had a shot at keeping a close game with MSU until the Spartan defense overwhelmed Robinson. This year Michigan needs to focus on protection and versatility in the running game. I anticipate that they will try to attack Michigan State with their running game primarily and try to mix in some passes periodically to catch the defense off guard. However, I will make note that Michigan may be focusing on their running game more before their match up with MSU to try and bluff. If they show running and running and running Michigan State will prepare for… running so if they keep big passing plays hidden from the Spartans before the game they can form an interesting plan of attack.

I believe that Hoke has emphasized the Michigan State game as one of the most important if not THE most important game of the Wolverines 2012 season. I expect to see the most exhausting effort by the Wolverines in the match up if Michigan happens to fall behind in the game. I think that it’s fair to say that Hoke did not try laying everything on the line in the second half when they faced off against Alabama because they new the game was too far gone. They still tried to win and compete but I don’t think they sacrificed everything. For the Michigan State game on the other hand we should expect to see 60 minutes of all out attack by the Wolverines to keep their hopes alive for an appearance in the Big Ten Championship game.

I am not making a prediction for this game yet. I want to see how both teams perform this weekend” Illinois at Michigan and Iowa at Michigan State. I am a Michigan fan so obviously I will be rooting for the Wolverines but it doesn’t mean that I will expect them to win. How the teams have performed thus far, I give the edge to Michigan but things can easily and quickly change in a week.

Even though this game is HUGE for the Wolverines season I think that the champions of the legends division will be settled by the Nebraska vs Michigan game later this season. So I am saying it now that whatever team wins the Nebraska vs Michigan game will be the team that represents the Legends Division in the championship game while the Leaders Division, due to Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible, is a toss up between Purdue and Wisconsin.

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About TrueBlueReport

Graphic Designer, avid Michigan Football fan, Abstract Painter, and Athletics Blogger.

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3 Comments on “Big Ten Legends Division: Michigan & The MSU Game Plan”

  1. TrueBlueReport Says:

    It absolutely could be a trap game and they need to be careful with it. I don’t think that anyone other than some of the coaching staff is preparing for the MSU game though. Hoke has emphasized keeping the players focused on one game at a time.

    Reply

  2. Matthew Milko Says:

    This screams huge trap for Michigan this weekend against Illinois. I don’t think the Illini pull the upset, but they will be within the spread.

    Reply

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